"They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along", Trump said. He said European nations should pay more into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation budget rather than increase their spending on another defence group. Trump wrote on Twitter. Many replied by recalling France's World Cup victory in July, 20 years after winning its first title. Washington contributed more than one-third of the total funding to the 29-member alliance in 2017.
Asked on television if the United States was still a French ally, Le Drian answered yes.
A stony-faced Trump, who listened a few feet away, has described himself as a nationalist and has promoted an "America First" policy.
Macron's office declined to comment on Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday made a clear call for a future European army, in an apparent rebuke to Trump. For conservatives, both nationalism and patriotism are healthy forces when focused in a state that advances and protects the individual rights of its citizens. "You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned". "Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?" "But we have to help ourselves as well".
On Tuesday, Mr Trump attacked Mr Macron over nationalism, plans for a European army and the French leader's ratings.
A recent opinion poll conducted by Kantar Public showed only 26 percent of the French people have confidence in Macron, while 71 percent said they have no confidence in France's president. Unemployment in France stood at 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.
Trump was either unaware of these remarks, or else, defines "Pay for NATO" as "pay tribute to arms manufacturers" (the president has previously suggested that maximizing USA arms sales is one of his top foreign-policy goals).
"At every moment in our history, we have been allies", the 40-year old leader said in an interview from France's nuclear aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle.
Trump also called out Macron for his "very low" approval rating in his home country.
By way of explanation, Trump tweeted, "By the way, when the helicopter couldn't fly to the first cemetery in France because of nearly zero visibility, I suggested driving". Trump promised voters to end decades of unfair treatment of the United States on the global stage.
Still, in his tweets on Wednesday, Mr Trump criticised France, accusing it of imposing unfair trade tariffs, and Mr Macron of trying to divert attention from what the U.S. president described as a "very low Approval Rating" and the French unemployment figures. "Not fair, must change!" he said.
Almost all USA wine exports to major markets, including the European Union - of which France is a part - face tariffs, according to the Wine Institute, which represents California winemakers in Washington on matters of tax, trade and regulatory issues.
The president even weighed in on wine, one of France's most-prized industries, to complain that France does not engage in fair trade practices with the US over the alcoholic beverage.
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